1.1 What is the Religious Education Credentialing Program?
The Religious Education Credentialing Program is a three level program of professional development, standards, mentoring, accountability, and recognition. It is intended for religious education professionals who serve Unitarian Universalist congregations or the larger Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). It encourages in depth study and requires demonstrated competency in the many facets of life span religious education, primarily through the portfolio method. It has replaced the UUA Religious Education Leadership Landscape Options program. Application to the program was made available to all religious educators on June 3, 2003.
1.2 Who is responsible for the program?
It is a program of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and is the responsibility of the Religious Education Credentialing Committee (RECC), which is a standing committee of the UUA and is appointed by the UUA Board. The administrative support of the program is primarily through the Religious Education Credentialing Office of the UUA Ministries and Faith Development Staff group. The mentoring program is administered by the Committee on Mentoring of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA).
1.3 What is the history of the program?
The program design for the RE Credentialing Program was created by the UUA and LREDA Joint Task Force for Professional Standards in 2001. The design was based on work on professional standards done independently by both LREDA and the UUA. The UUA was given responsibility for the program in 2002, with the intent that it would replace the UUA Religious Education Leadership Landscape Options program. At that time a full-time Religious Education Credentialing Director was hired by the UUA to administer the program. The hiring of a part-time Religious Education Credentialing Assistant soon followed. The Joint Task force evolved into an Religious Education Credentialing Advisory Committee to give guidance to the Religious Education Credentialing Director in further developing the program. Members of the Committee included: Laurel Amabile, Rev. Ellen Brandenburg, Pat Ellenwood, Judith Frediani, Rev. Betty Jo Middleton, and Rev. Makanah Morriss. During this time, eleven religious educators who were credentialed under the Religious Education Leadership Landscape Options program were transitioned into this status in the Religious Education Credentialing program. The Religious Education Credentialing Advisory Committee was replaced in 2003 by the UUA Board appointed Religious Education Credentialing Committee. Application to the program was made available to all religious educators on June 3, 2003. The Religious Education Credentialing Committee met for the first time in October 2003 and evaluated candidates for the first time in February 2004. The 2004 General Assembly of the UUA voted to modify the UUA Bylaws to specify the Religious Education Credentialing Committee as a Standing Committee of the Association.
1.4 Is this a mandatory program?
No, it is an optional program. Both the UUA and LREDA encourage professional development and adherence to professional standards for religious educators. The UUA recognizes that there are different ways to achieve this—but hopes that many will choose the RE Credentialing Program because of its comprehensive scope.